Paul Tisdale: Exeter City boss thanks board for Ollie Watkins transfer backing

Ollie Watkins
Ollie Watkins has scored 18 goals in 50 league appearances for Exeter

Manager Paul Tisdale has thanked the Exeter City board for allowing him to hold on to his key players during the January transfer window.

The League Two club turned down several bids for forward Ollie Watkins, who has scored seven goals in eight matches.

"The board has backed my request that we keep this team together," Tisdale told BBC Radio Devon.

"That shows some real intent and real bravery when there are clubs offering really good money."

Exeter were bottom of the table after losing at Carlisle on 19 November, but have since gone on an 11-game unbeaten run, including nine wins, to go fourth and just four points from an automatic promotion spot.

Watkins, 21, is their joint-highest league scorer but he was left on the bench for their victory over Wycombe on Tuesday due to speculation over his future.

"Ollie Watkins, well done, you are going to go a long way but at the moment you're an Exeter player so help us get where we want to get - I'm very proud of you for what you've done," added Tisdale.

"This week he's been waiting and the club have received offers and we're saying no, it's not enough, and we want him with us.

"It doesn't pay to be smug with 18 games to go - fourth is great from where we were but it's not where we want to finish, we want to be above that."

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